Health IT — The Health IT Standards Committee will be meeting tomorrow, August 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Washington DC. Those interested in this meeting can participate in person, or via the phone and web. The privacy and security workgroup will report at 1:30 pm Eastern. Location and call-in information is available at the HHS web site.
Public comments re: health data breaches — The World Privacy Forum filed comments with the Department of Health and Human Services today regarding the HITECH Act guidance that HHS published along with a request for comments. The Forum urged the Department to tighten its proposed guidance, and to add more protections, oversight, and rules for “limited data set” breaches.
National Health Information Network (NHIN) — The National Health Information Network timeline and chronology that the World Privacy Forum maintains has been updated. Materials from the April/May public forum in Dallas are now online and linked, as are key upcoming events regarding the NHIN. Notably, in September the nine existing NHIN trial implementation projects that have been running and exchanging health data in California, North Carolina, New York, and other states are set to be demonstrated in Washington DC. These demonstrations are pivotal for the NHIN and how it takes shape going forward.
Disclosure of the requested information to our organization is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of the NHIN Cooperative and its workgroups. The subject of the requested information will directly illuminate government activities for which information is unavailable otherwise. As far as we can tell, information regarding the NHIN Cooperative Workgroups, a topic of vital public interest, have not been made generally available to the public.
NHIN update — The National Health Information Network, or NHIN, is part of a major undertaking to digitize and network the health care sector. From electronic health records to multi-state health information hubs, the U.S. government’s goal is to modernize and move health care information from paper to digital. The Department of Health and Human Services is the primary mover behind this initiative, which is complex and multi-faceted. The World Privacy Forum keeps a chronology of NHIN events as a public service. The NHIN timeline has been updated to reflect changes in AHIC, a group that is charged in part with ensuring privacy and confidentiality in the NHIN and other aspects of health care modernization. AHIC is set to transition to a “public-private partnership,” a move that will need to be watched closely to ensure robust consumer involvement.